Rick Hearst Talks His New Movie 'Full Count', If He Wants to Return to 'General Hospital', His Experience of A Real Renaissance & More! (EXCLUSIVE) Read more here--->>
Fangurling! Fangurling! I was Fangurling!
Rick Hearst family Rick Hearst.
He was everything I knew he would be. He's fantastic. He's super nice. And on top of that; he's funny, a wonderful conversationalist and full of wisdom. Plus there were a few valuable life lesson gems that Rick imparted that I made sure to include.
And since we are all family here, I will unequivocally state that yes, Scott Banning (Days of Our Lives), Matt Clark (The Young and The Restless), Whipple Jones (Bold and The Beautiful), and the great Ric Lansing (General Hospital) are all great but Alan-Michael Spaulding (Guiding Light) he like Rick is everything. Full Stop. End of Story. Okay, that's enough of fangurling (for now).
Rick was fortunate to have received a solid foundation at the beginning of his training. Rick took part in an acting program in secondary and high school run by the extraordinary acting teacher, John Steele. The program could be best described as non-traditional in comparison to other programs in the surrounding school area. As Rick explained to us, John Steele had a different philosophy than most teachers. He taught his students distinctive methods of acting and exposed them to more in-depth instruction than the average drama class. "The program was a two-hour block of time. The parts and roles we played were challenging and provocative for high school. I had the chance to play roles I was way too young to play. John treated us like we were professional actors. That's where I got my taste for it."
Rick continued to study his craft in college at the University of Texas at Austin where he attended and met his wife. After Rick graduated, he moved to New York and attended the very intensive Circle the Square Conservatory program. Upon completion of the program, Rick started auditioning and performing in showcases. Rick's first paid gig as an actor was in the low budget horror film Brain Damage which to Rick's utter amazement became a cult classic. "The film actually became a cult classic. Of course, I had no idea at the time. At the time all I knew was I was doing this kooky offbeat film. I was the guy who was the host for a turd looking monster that injected fluid in and ate people's brains." It sounds just like a cult classic to us.
It's a cute story about how Rick discovered he was cult classic royalty. When his son was a teenager, he and his friends did what all teenagers do. They would go over by each other's house to hang and veg out. "My son's friends would come over and they would just stare at me. One day I asked my son about it and he told me, 'They are fans.' I was like, 'Fans? They watch soaps?' My son was like, 'No dad. Brain Damage. You realize it is a cult classic?' I was like, 'I didn't see a check for that but okay.'" Laughter.
Right on the heels of this story, Rick told us another one. He is a fantastic storyteller. "About halfway through filming Brain Damage, I got a call from my agent that the soap opera Loving was holding auditions. This is where I met Mark Teschner (current casting director at General Hospital). He was casting for Loving then. This was before the internet so I had to physically go down to ABC and pick up the sides (info about the character and the script to learn for an audition). The character, my agent got the call about was for "Steve", an All American blond blue-eyed man. But I never saw myself as that guy. Another side of the sides was for "Ned". He was from the wrong side of the tracks with a chip on his shoulder and I thought, hmm. I took them both home and learned them both."
Rick learned both parts and met with casting and "strategically" positioned himself to be considered for the role of "Ned." "When I met with them and they asked if I had any questions before I started to read (they always ask that before you begin), I said, 'Yeah, I wasn't sure what set of sides I was supposed to read for.'" Spoiler Alert Rick knew it was supposed to be Steve. Lol. "Mark told me it was for the part of Steve. I said, 'Okay I just wasn't sure.' Just before I was about to read Mark looks at me and said, 'Go ahead and read the part of "Ned.'"
When Rick was done his read, Mark left the room, came back and told him he was reading for the producers in five minutes! The producers were impressed with Rick and wanted him to come back for a screen test. Yea! But no. Rick's agent informed him that because he was contracted for Brain Damage it was a no go. Rick was disappointed. But guess who got the role? Luke Perry. Awesome, awesome, awesome, story.
After that, Rick kept auditioning and although he was having auditions and, "Coming up to bat with the major players for a lot of big things, they just didn't take." Rick left New York and moved to California. In about six months, he landed Days of our Lives and then Guiding Light. Rick took a break from daytime and appeared in a few guest spots here and there on shows including The Jenny McCarthy Show and Charmed. He then returned to daytime at The Young and The Restless, The Bold and The Beautiful and General Hospital.
As we have pointed out on previous occasions, before Social Media the best and almost the only place to get the latest happenings behind the scenes on our soaps were from the soap opera magazines. I missed a lot back then. As an Alan Michael Spaulding (Rick Hearst version) fanatic, I was curious if it was Rick's decision to break my heart, um sorry I meant his decision to leave Guiding Light, LOL. "Yes, it was my decision. At that time I wanted to try something else. I needed to know if I had a shot at a film career or on nighttime television. I had to try." Absolutely! "And I learned quickly it's not a try, and if you don't get it, then it's over. It's constantly trying. You will find different mediums that you may do very well in or maybe you become synonymous with a different genre. Or maybe you write or produce or continue in another aspect of it. But no matter what, you continue to try." Wisdom.
Will we see Ric Lansing in Port Charles anytime soon? Rick let us know if it were up to him the answer would be, yes. "The door is wide open and I have stated as such. The canvas has changed a lot but I don't think it has changed enough where there is no room for Ric Lansing. Ric is a legacy character. He is tied to so many relationships and people on the show. The last time I was seen was in May 2016. It wasn't like when I left before in the elevator. But I still haven't received any calls, any interest or anything. I feel like it's in their court as to whether or not they feel that the character of Ric Lansing and the actor of Rick Hearst is an attribute to their canvas or not. The fact that it has been this long makes me believe it's not in their plans right now." It should be. Moving on.
Rick is savoring a new season in his life, in his career, and in his family. He and his family currently live in Atlanta. It was his former co-star from General Hospital, Natalia Livingston, (Emily Quartermaine, Rebecca Shaw) that nudged Rick in the direction of Atlanta. "Natalia was very instrumental in me having faith enough to move here. She told me you have to come and check it out. I visited and during my visit, Natalia introduced me to agents, producers, and people in the industry. Six months later I moved here."
I'm going to pause just to say this was my favorite portion of this interview. No matter where we are in life we can all glean from this. "I've been doing very well here. I've landed guest spots living here. I work with Natalia at the Actor's Boutique (acting school) which is a great avenue for me to continue to express my creative talents. I started an Italian food company with my mother here and it has really taken off. It is wonderful. It's a great business that I share with my entire family. At this time in my life, let's call me a "mid to elder", statesmen I have experienced a real renaissance period in my life." This gave me chills. Who of us wouldn't love to experience a real renaissance in our own lives? And this was all because in Rick's words, "him having faith enough to move here." Wow!
We are happy that soon and very soon we will see Rick on Ambitions. We also spoke about our happiness for Jamey Giddens. "I'm so happy for Jamey. What a great set to be on. I got a chance to work with Robin, Essence, and Brian. There was such great energy. I play Stephanie's defense attorney. It's a fun role." We can't wait!
We also can't wait to see Rick in the upcoming family, faith, sports drama (he stars with Natalia Livingston) Full Count set to be released on Oct 25. Natalia first approached Rick about being in the film. "Natalia came to me and told me, 'I'm doing this movie and they expressed an interest to talk to you about it. It is a really cool character.' I read it and thought this is darker than I have ever done. The character is a very corrupt and deceptive cop. He's Southern so I got to use an accent that I have been trained for but never had the chance to use. I also put on weight for this role. People are going to be quite shocked. They are going to think, wow, he really let himself go. I'm not in good shape in this role at all. I wanted it to be real. Not to be stereotypical, but most sheriff deputies aren't in shape. They aren't spending a lot of hours working out or in the gym. I'm very interested to see how it comes across. I think I did very well and I'm excited to see the response from others."
Rick echoed the same sentiments about working on the film, as Natalia and his other co-star John Paul Kakos did, when we spoke to them. "It was great fun to be a part of a first time director and producer's baby. Robert Eager was so genuine and he was so willing to let all of us just kind of take the reins on these characters and bring them to life. Another great thing was we had a diverse cast. I got a chance to work with Roger E. Mitchell. He's a blast. I enjoyed working with Adam Boyer who I also worked with on Ambitions. And the lead John Paul Kakos is in my class at the Actor's Boutique. He's going to be a big name. He has that wide-eyed enthusiasm and he has the hardcore work ethic to back it up."
Rick not only loved working with the cast and crew he also shared with us the importance of the movie's message. "This is a faith-based film. I like that it wasn't heavy-handed. The message was there but it was also grounded. There is the human struggle that we all go through. And the movie's message is, how to rise above adversity regardless of how difficult and how intense it may be sometimes. I think that was illuminated very well. I'm very grateful to have been a part of it. And I'm excited for everyone to see it."
Rick feels like his life and his career has come full circle. This "mid to elder" statesman has made full use of the foundation John Steele gave him years ago. We love his observation and expression of the real renaissance he is experiencing, therefore, we will conclude and quote Rick in a similar vein.
"I feel balanced. I feel like I'm back to where I started in that this is the way it was for me as an actor. You get a gig. You don't get a gig. You might not work for a while. It's all good. Then you get one. It's all good. You walk into another room and you meet another person who could potentially take you further. That's how it is for me again. And I tell my students this all the time. It's not like you look and say well, I've reached the pinnacle of my career. I have reached where I'm going to be. In life and in your career, you never know what's around the next corner." Wisdom.
I was beyond grateful to have the chance to speak to this man whom I have loved for so many years and to have him be so great and then to receive so much food for thought for my own life was indeed a blessing.
Rick from the bottom of my heart thank you for speaking to us!
Family make sure to support the movie Full Count set to be released on October 25!!
Look for Rick when Ambitions returns!
I AM KP Smith